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New Hero Search Meredith Thompson
- Aug. 27, 1994 -

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US DEA Patch
Resided: FL, USA
Born: Aug. 12, 1961  
Fallen: Aug. 27, 1994
Race/Sex: Caucasian Female / 33 yrs. of age
Dept: U.S. DOJ - Drug Enforcement Agency
8701 Morrissette Drive  
Springfield, VA   22152   USA
County: Fairfax
Dept. Type: Federal/Law Enforcement
Hero's Rank: Agent
Sworn Date: 9/1985
FBI Class: Accident - Natural
Weapon Class: Airplane
Agency URL: Click Here
Bio: Meredith Thompson was born on Aug. 12, 1961, in Long Beach, CA, to Jack C. Thompson, Jr. and Adelaide "Tad" Thompson. She was the third of five children (Kimberly, Elizabeth, Meredith, Diane, and Douglas Keith). Since her father was a career Navy officer, Meredith and her siblings lived in several locations (e.g., Long Beach, CA; Charleston, S.C.; Mayport, FL; and Fairfax, VA. She was raised in Faixfax, VA, where she attended Kings Park Elementary School and graduated from Robinson H.S in 1979. In H.S. she lettered in women's basketball and softball.

Meredith graduated from the U. of South Carolina in 1983 with a major in criminal justice. She also completed one year of postgraduate work in criminal justice at the same university.

After graduation from college in 1983, Thompson worked for a year and a half as a security guard at the Radison Hotel in Arlington, VA. She joined the DEA on Sept. 4, 1985, and graduated with the 40th DEA Basic Agent Class at the Academy on Jan. 31, 1986. Thompson was first sent to the Columbia, S.C., Resident Office for three months before being transferred to Miami in April of 1986.

While in Miami Agent Thompson received the highest performance evaluations and was characterized as a "tireless worker, innovative, motivated and organized." Throughout her career, she received numerous letters of appreciation and commendation from both within and outside DEA John Coleman, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Office of Training, wrote of her performance as a basic agent class counselor: She is an excellent role model and through her demonstrated expertise, tact, and devotion, instilled within each trainee a sense of purpose, direction, and pride in DEA.

Meredith Thompson was one of only two of the 108 slain officers included in this book whom the author knew personally. While in Miami Meredith took courses at F.I.U. and was part of a special F.I.U. graduate class of 22 DEA agents at their headquarters at the Koger Center in Miami in 1990. I remember her as attentive, energetic, articulate, and cheerful.

On the day of her oral report she came dressed in Washington Redskin "uniform" and put a Redskin hat on me before beginning her report. She was reacting to my "I love the Dallas Cowboys and hate their chief rivals, the Redskins" speech given on the first day of class where I (jokingly) threatened to fail Redskin fans. She loved a challenge and she loved her Redskins. I think of Meredith Thompson each semester when I give that speech. Thompson volunteered for Operation Snowcap even though she recognized that it was a dangerous assignment. To qualify for Snowcap she completed a grueling ranger jungle training course in Ft. Benning, GA, and took a special weapons training course. She also attended six months of language school (i.e., Spanish) under auspices of the State Dept. to qualify for the assignment in Latin America.

After completing the special training requirements, Agent Thompson volunteered for three tours of duty under Operation Snowcap, two in Bolivia and her last assignment in Peru. Tom Cash, the Agent in Charge of the Miami office, noted that Agent Thompson was in "superb physical condition" and that she "was always looking for a different mountain to climb." She hoped to be in charge of a DEA office one day.

Meredith lived in Pembroke Pines during her eight years in S. FL and attended the Faith Presbyterian Church in Pembroke Pines. She was very active in youth work at the church and was well known to members of the congregation.

Survived by:
Jack Thompson - Father

mother - Adelaide "Tad" Thompson of Fairfax, VA; three sisters, Kimberly Thompson Vander Yacht, 27, of Rochester, NY, Elizabeth Thompson Miller, 25, of Centreville, VA, and Diane Thompson Liddell, 21, of Riverside, CA; and one brother, Doug Thompson, 20, of Lake Ridge, VA.

Fatal Incident Summary
Offender: none
Location: FL   USA   Sat. Aug. 27, 1994
Summary: DEA Agent Meredith Thompson, 33, and four other DEA agents were killed in a plane crash in Peru on Aug. 27, 1994, during a reconnaissance flight for a drug suppression program. Since Agent Thompson was the only one of the five slain agents based in Dade County, only her name was added to the list of Dade County law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

The other four agents killed were Frank Wallace, Jr., 37 (of Pompano Beach, FL); Frank Fernandez, Jr., 38; Jay W. Seale, 31; and Juan C. Vars, 32. The five deaths brought the total of DEA agents killed in the line of duty in the history of the agency to 57 and represented the greatest loss of life for the agency since the 1971 DEA building collapse in Miami that killed two agents and five female staff members.

The fatal flight was part of Operation Snowcap, a DEA cocaine suppression program in Peru and Bolivia. The wreckage of the twin-engine CASA aircraft was found in the Upper Huallaga Valley of the Andean foothills, where much of the world's cocaine supply is produced. The area was populated by leftist guerrillas and armed drug traffickers. However, there was no evidence that the plane had been fired upon.

Source: Book       Excerpted in part or in whole from Dr. Wilbanks book-


by William Wilbanks

Louisville: Turner Publications


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